Three Steps To Better Health: Part One- Mind
Here in the 21st century, most humans no longer grow, gather or hunt our own food. For a large part of the population of the developed world, passive work has largely supplanted active labor. We move less than our ancestors of only 25 years ago. A superabundance of calorie-rich (but frequently nutrient-poor) food entices us from eye-level grocery store shelves and drive-through windows. The not-so-ancient arts of exercise and healthy eating are no longer a part of general cultural awareness.
Consequently, muscle mass, agility, balance, and flexibility have diminished and lipid cells, diabetes, heart disease and metabolic disorders have prospered.
The combination of these factors has led to a depressing situation wherein too many people feel trapped by their circumstances. They are unhappy with their state of unhealthiness but unsure of what to do about it. Perhaps they have tried a variety of high-profile diet plans or exercise programs with limited, if any, success. Discouraged, they stop trying and resign themselves to a devitalized life of mild to morbid obesity. But is this resignation really resignation? When a 30-year old ruefully cradles his burgeoning belly and chuckles, “I’m not as young as I used to be”, is he really okay with that? Or is his feigned resignation masking something else?
Wrote Henry David Thoreau: “The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation. What is called resignation is confirmed desperation.”
Desperation often masquerades as resignation and causes a person to pretend (even to himself) to accept what he thinks he can not change.
The purpose of this post is to help you get your mind to agree to let you take care of your body.
Fitness By Number
Remember those paint by number works of art that you made in fourth grade?
You would start with a piece of paper blank except for little numbers printed within predefined boundaries. Each number corresponded to a color, and by applying the proper color within the lines, you formed an image that resembled a landscape, animal, or other near semblance of reality.
Even the most artistically challenged could manage to paint something that may still be lovingly displayed in Grandma’s attic!
Getting fit and strong can be somewhat like that style of painting. A person may not have the knowledge, training, or perhaps even motivation to create a masterpiece alone and unaided. However, anyone can use the paint by number approach to fitness.
This series will present some “numbers” corresponding to various simple methods to improve health and fitness. All you have to do is apply the appropriate color of “paint” within the lines to become a stronger version of yourself.
“It is not a daily increase, but a daily decrease. Hack away at the inessentials.” – Bruce Lee
Fitness need not involve expensive gym memberships, fancy machines or special diet plans. These things, while not devoid of value, are simply means to an end. The same result can be obtained by enacting elemental changes in thinking which can then become actions. Actions repeated over a period of time become habits. A good habit, formed in the mind and carried out by the body, is far more powerful than gyms, diets, OR the cold grip of resignation.
Health should and can become a habit, as ingrained as tying your shoes or brushing your teeth.
Thus, to begin making your new YOU, do not obsess over minutiae. Begin by defining a few things that you can do that will make your health just a bit better than it is now.
- Stop drinking soda. (or pop, or whatever you call it)
- Floss once a day.
- Park far away from the store and walk.
- Every time you get hungry, drink a glass of water before you eat anything.
- Read something that will motivate you. (Like this, or this, or perhaps this, or at the very least, this!)
Engaging your mind in the process of improving your body is the first step to better health. Commit to the idea that, little by little, you can make progress in combating the deleterious effects of modern life!The next article in the series will address the second pillar of better health: MOUTH SIGN UP TO RECEIVE UPDATES VIA EMAIL SO THAT YOU DON’T MISS ANYTHING. THANKS FOR READING!